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Full text of "Poland Russia and Great Britain 1941-1945"

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What rewards do we offer these peoples and Governments for their
sacrifice of everything, for loyalty to us and to our ideals ? To the Govern-
ment and people of Poland we offer the loss of two of their most historic
cities, Wilno and Lwow, and the sacrifice of one-third of their national
territory, if we insist upon the so-called Curzon Line as their Eastern
frontier . . .
In my experience, the Russians despise more than anything else weak-
ness and vagueness, and the one thing they admire more than anything
else is clarity and firmness. After all, the basis of true friendship, between
men and between nations, is mutual respect, and if Russia sees us not being
true to our other allies, how can she expect that we shall be true to her in
the future ? ... It is not fair on the Russians to give them the impression
that we have no clear policy in Europe. How can they shape their policy
to harmonise with ours, unless we make it very clear and very firm ? They
cannot believe, any more than this House can believe, that Britain, after
.standing up for freedom and civilisation against Germany, will now abdicate
in favour of European anarchy, and turn the other cheek to civil war between
her friends.
Of course, we must have friendship with Russia, but, as I said, for
friendship there must be mutual respect. It would be false friendship,
either for Russia or for Poland, to allow Russia to think that Europe,, and the
world ultimately, will tolerate a fourth partition of Poland. Most of
Europe's subsequent troubles flowed from the three Partitions of Poland
in the eighteenth century. The * Curzon Line ' closely corresponds to the
Russian line of the Third Partition of 1795. If Britain and the United
States are consenting parties to yet another Partition, they will be the first
to suffer from it hereafter, hi the same way that France, Sweden, Austria
and Turkey ultimately suffered from the last three Partitions of Poland.
Russian desires in regard to Poland are threefold : they are natural
desires and they are desires which, with good faith and not too much inter-
ference, but enough to see that fair play ensues, can be met. What are
they ? The first one is the co-operation of the Polish Underground Move-
ment with the Russian forces as they enter and move through Poland. This
has already been ensured by the commands given by the Polish Government
and the Polish Comxnander-in-Chief, General Sosnkowski, to the Polish
Underground Movement. These orders are certain of execution, because
there is complete and absolute harmony between the Polish Underground
Movement and the Polish Government in London. No other authority is,
or can be, recognised by the genuine National Polish Government in London.
The second desire of Russia, which, I think, sometimes escapes the
consciousness of many people in this country, largely from our concentration
on the geography of other parts of the world, is to be relieved from a certain—
and it sounds odd to say this in connection with Russia—fear. Russia is,
of course, a state made up of many nationalities indeed, and. she does fear
the attraction of that part of the White Rutherdans and Ukrainians who are
on the Polish side of the Polish-Russian border for those Ruthenians and
Ukrainians who remain on the other side of the border as it was left by the
Treaty of Riga, She fears that these parts of these two peoples would act
as Piedmont did in the case of United Italy—as centripetal nuclei for an
independent White Ruthenian^or Ukrainian state, independent of Russia . *.
They wish to be rid of all their racial problems. It was precisely so as not
to have relations between themselves and Russia embittered that, at the
Treaty of Riga, they deliberately refused territory as far as 100 miles to the
east of the Riga Treaty line, which was then offered to them by Lenin,
CMcherin and Trotsky. This was refused for the very good reason , . .